Meet Ford’s drivability and test facility, where it performs climate and winter testing on Ford vehicles as well as those of the competition. The chamber can simulate nearly any weather extreme on the planet, with temperatures as chillingly cold as -40 and as scorchingly hot as +131 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s -40 and +55 degrees Celsius, respectively). The facility’s operators can vary elements of humidity, wind speeds, and the sun, all while dynamometers simulate road-going conditions. In other words, the chamber can do a lot of things.
One of the bigger concerns for vehicles during the winter months is snow. Though many don’t really consider it, a car can quit running if its air filters get clogged up with snow, thereby choking the engine. Hence the reason for Ford’s snow test, which looks at the performance of the vehicle and of the air filtration system during snow conditions.
During the test, Ford examines the buildup of snow and ice on the vehicle itself, looking at whether the lights ice over or if the shifter linkage freezes up, for instance. The goal of the test is to deliver a superior quality product, thereby equipping customers with the confidence that they will not have any issues with Ford products on the road.
In the video, watch as Ford puts the new 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350 through its winter tests in the climate chamber.
And in the unfortunate event that you find yourself stuck or stranded on a road during winter, it’s always a good idea to carry a winter emergency kit that includes items such as a blanket, small snacks, an extra coat, and cat litter… just in case you run into some traction issues and get stuck. And last but not least: don’t drive with limited or obstructed visibility.